LA VITA CONTADINA – food & film road trip in Italy
La Vita Contadina
Ciao from Italy! We are Gabriela, Rachel, and Arturo and have spent the summer living in Abruzzo–a region known for Montelpuciano wine, Pecorino cheese, and the mountains of Maiella. With days spent in the markets and evenings preparing fresh meals, we grew increasingly familiar and fascinated with the local traditions ofcontadinos–farmers who use simple and resourceful methods to live off the land. Back in the US, it’s called the slow food movement, but here, it’s been a way of life for generations.
Inspired by this experience, we created a 5-week road trip itinerary to tour the diverse southern regions of Italy to discover even more culinary secrets and learn about a new crop of innovators committed to sustainable living through permaculture and eco-villages. With your support, we will complete this journey and share stories that link the rich traditions and hopeful future of Southern Italy.
Our mission is to share these stories, along with practical how-to’s and delicious recipes that can be used in the modern kitchen. We’ve lined up interviews along our route with:
Nonnas and Nonnos (grandparents) who hold the ‘secrets’ to family recipes
Old and new generations of fishermen improving traditional methods of fishing
Managers of eco-villages who are committed to sustainable farming practices
Professors at Unical University of Calabria who specialize in regional culinary traditions
Artists working to revitalize villages on the brink of extinction
Refugee and migrant communities that are folding Italian traditions into their own culture
What We Need
The budget will cover travel, food, accommodations, and a small amount of equipment. We’ll travel in the most economical way possible, including working for farmers in exchange for room and board and utilizing Couchsurfing and ridesharing when possible.
With our combined travel experiences (37 countries!), we’re confident that we’ll complete the 5-week itinerary on budget. If our project is not fully funded, we’ll travel for as far as the funds will allows.
What You Get
With your support, we’ll be able to complete this delicious journey! To say thank you, please check out our rewards which include postcards from the road, recipes by PDF or a published book, and we’ll even come to your home to cook for you!
Other Ways You Can Help
We understand if can’t contribute, but you can still support us by sharing this campaign on social media, and follow us on this adventure!
And, if you know any inspiring projects in Southern Italy please drop us a line and maybe we can add a stop to our trip!
Who We Are
RACHEL MUSQUIZ is a chef, entrepreneur, and community builder. Rachel spent this summer as the head Chef at the Art Monastery Project, feeding the community daily by sourcing from local Italian farmers and producers. Just before going to Italy, Rachel relocated from Brooklyn to Oakland as a founding resident and community manager at The Canopy, a co-living house. She has eight years of media experience in publishing, television, music, and digital–including three years producing and developing content for VanityFair.com. She studied Journalism at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and received her M.A. in Media Studies at the New School University in New York.
GABRIELA SOFIA FLORES SCHNAIDER is an international artist and filmmaker from Buenos Aires, where she received her BA in Film Direction from theUniversidad del Cine. In Argentina, Italy, and Spain she coordinates and develops audiovisual contents for the Ecumenical Social Forum and for the foundation Maria Madre de la Esperanza, where she was awarded for her work by the Association in Communication Sciences of Lomas de Zamora and the Union of Press Workers of Buenos Aires. She has worked as a programmer and producer for Lakino, the Latin American Film Festival of Berlin. Her short films have been screened at several film festivals in London, Berlin, Vienna, and Rio de Janeiro.
ARTURO SORIA is an actor, writer, and food enthusiast who has worked professionally in Chicago, New York City, and regionally around the U.S. He recently received the Luso-American Scholarship at Disquiet International in Lisbon, Portugal for his writing. He was recognized in The New Yorker Magazine for his performance in Hit the Wall at the Steppenwolf Theatre. He has worked at many upscale restaurants and began learning about Italian food and wine from his Nonno, a certified sommelier. He received a BFA in Acting from the Theatre School at DePaul University.